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Old 03-15-2016, 12:08 PM
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Hand fed vs Parent raised

So I'm going to be getting a budgerigar from a bird store in Houston, and looking at other budgie forums I discovered they don't always have hand fed budgies. I'm not too concerned about having to hand tame the bird, but I was wondering if there's any differences between hand fed and parent raised...for example, less cuddly later on?
I need to know whether it's worth it to spend extra or not.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:13 PM
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Re: Hand fed vs Parent raised

With a parent raised budgie, you will have to put the work in to tame it. It does take patience, and it's not as 'quick and easy' as some people think, which is why many people just give up and have wild parakeets. While budgies are a species known to go from wild to tame fairly easily, still, it 'can' take months even with consistent work with a young bird, as you'd expect from any bird species. The younger the better (right after weaning and ready to take home).

Of course it depends on the bird's individual personality too. In budgies, you will see that some are naturally more calm, friendly, and trusting, and will be easier to tame, while other individuals at best just don't make the greatest candidates for being tame pets no matter what (like my Twigs). His late partner was much more trusting and calm despite being parent raised.

Mink, my English girl was hand fed. She was parent raised in the earlier part of her life, which is considered healthier for the chick, but a couple weeks before weaning she and her brother were hand fed. It made it much easier to tame her. I still had to work with her, but she wasn't quite as flighty and terrified as a full parent raised 'wild' bird, and tamed a lot quicker. A hand fed baby doesn't have that same 'horrified of humans' response that might be nicer for your first bird. I realize it's hard to find handfed budgies unless you go through a breeder, and sometimes a "good, responsible, and reputable" breeder of budgies is hard to find depending on where you live.

If the bird store doesn't have any hand fed, look at the birds and see if you can interact with them in the cage, who is calmer, who might acknowledge you, etc. Talk to the employee and see if they know personally if any are calmer than others, and together you can take a few moments to observe which one might have more pet potential.

Yes, if you start with the 'right one' a parent raised budgie can become a trusting and bonded little pet. Look at YouTube videos of cuddly or tame budgies. Chances are, especially if they're not the English variety, they weren't hand fed. These people have put A LOT of consistent work into it though. Good luck!
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